Anthony Joshua insists Deontay Wilder superfight take place in England
The unified heavyweight champion promises to 'rain down hell' on Wilder if fight can be made in 2018
As the two sides continue to privately negotiate a possible 2018 superfight between unbeaten heavyweight champions Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder, it appears that Joshua has doubled down on his preference to where the fight is staged.
Joshua (21-0, 20 KOs), who quickly rose to become the sport's biggest star globally after winning three of the four recognized heavyweight titles, told radio host Polly James at Sunday's Lyons Den Promotions event in Wales that the fight needs to take place in his native England in order for him to receive a fair shake.
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"So with this Las Vegas talk, I owe it to everyone in Great Britain that has been supporting me to do my best to get this fight in the U.K., in my opinion, that's number one," Joshua said. "[Wilder] has kind of said, 'Alright, cool, come fight me in America'. But the thing is with that, I owe it to the fans and everyone supporting me to do it here.
"And number two, if I go there, there's a lot of tricks that they play in terms of referees and judges and that's why I want to be at home where I'm secure."
Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs), the WBC champion,that his team would send Joshua and promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sport a flat fee of $50 million for the fight, which would've given Wilder's team control of the promotion and site. Although Hearn did not agree to the deal, the move showed how serious Wilder was and escalated talks between the camps.
Joshua remains confident that a deal can be done for this calendar year.
"Luckily, we've got enough time to make the fight happen and we're working on it," Joshua said. "We've just sent another draft email over to them. It's just the technical jargon that we're going through right now."
A 2012 Olympic gold medalist, Joshua also predicts the fight will be a war that ends with him having his arm raised.
"I ain't got nothing to lose and I'm [going to] rain down hell on him. I'm going to f--- him up bad," Joshua said. "You've seen it, I can go to hell and back. I enjoy it there as well, this time, I'm going to own it.
"We're big hitters, so for sure I'm going to be throwing a lot of combination punches and it'll be interesting. I think he'll be trying to pick punches. I'll just be coming forward and swinging a lot of combinations, just trying to catch him and hurt him early on."
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